The clinical malpractice attorneys of Whitney, LLP represent adults and children who were harmed by medical lab errors in Maryland, including delayed diagnoses, missed diagnoses, false positives, and false negatives. Our highly experienced legal team combines meticulous attention to detail with aggressive client representation, which has enabled us to recover compensation for numerous clients during our many years practicing personal injury law.
If you or one of your family members was injured by a diagnostic error, our attorneys will be by your side to help you fight for the full compensation to which you may be entitled. To set up a free, completely confidential consultation, call the law offices of Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 any time of day or evening, including weekends and holidays. We are here around the clock to help you understand and pursue the legal options available to you and your loved ones.
Lab Tests Provided by Frederick Memorial Hospital (FMH)
Maryland’s Frederick Memorial Hospital, or FMH, contains a 24-hour medical laboratory staffed by pathologists, phlebotomists, cytologists, medical technologists, and histotechnologists. The lab, which is equipped to run a broad spectrum of tests and screenings, reports that some of its most commonly-performed procedures include:
Chemistry tests, including tests for cholesterol, glucose, creatinine, and potassium, for:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease (renal disease)
Hematology tests, including complete blood count (CBC) and hemoglobin (H&H) tests, for:
Microbiology tests, including wound, throat, urine, and blood cultures, for:
The main laboratory at FMH is supported by satellite labs located in Mt. Airy, Urbana, and Frederick, which are similarly equipped to perform a variety of medical scans and lab tests. The FMH Rose Hill laboratory in Frederick, for example, routinely performs:
- Blood tests
- Bone density studies
- CAT scans (Computerized Axial Tomography)
- MRI scans (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
- PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography)
Our Attorneys Represent Victims of Laboratory Mistakes and Diagnostic Errors
Lab errors are alarmingly common in the United States, with some researchers estimating annual deaths and injuries caused by medical mistakes to be in the tens or even hundreds of thousands. Tragically, most of these mistakes are entirely avoidable, resulting from negligence on the part of lab technicians. Even with regard to lab tests that are highly accurate and widely-used, there is still a significant risk that careless human errors could lead to inaccurate results for the patient. Such results might take the form of a:
False negative diagnosis. A false negative is a test reading which comes up negative even though the patient has the disease being tested for. When a sick patient believes they are healthy, they will not seek out medical treatment, allowing the condition to grow worse and worse over a period of months or years. Sadly, by the time the patient realizes that he or she is ill, it may already be too late to begin an effective treatment plan. Even if the condition can be halted or reversed, the patient is likely to need far more aggressive and invasive treatment than they would have with early detection. They may even need to undergo emergency surgery.
False positive diagnosis. A false positive is a test reading which comes up positive even though the patient does not have the disease being tested for. When a patient receives a false positive, their doctor might prescribe them unnecessary medications, recommend them for unnecessary surgeries, or put them through grueling treatment regimens. Not only do these inappropriate treatments put a huge financial burden on the patient – they could also hurt the patient physically. For instance, a patient might have a healthy limb amputated, or a functioning organ removed.
Misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis. A misdiagnosis is an incorrect diagnosis. Some examples of commonly misdiagnosed diseases and disorders include:
- Breast cancer
- Celiac disease
- Colon cancer (colorectal cancer)
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack (myocardial infarction)
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
- Lung disease
- Lyme disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Ovarian cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pulmonary embolism
- Sacroiliac joint pain/joint dysfunction
There are an alarming number of ways these outcomes can occur. Just a few examples of common lab testing errors include:
- Calling the wrong person about test results.
- Failing to sterilize lab equipment.
- Losing blood, urine, or tissue samples.
- Mixing up two or more patients’ samples/results.
- Rough handling of samples, which can cause leakage or contamination.
- Sending samples with the wrong patient’s information attached, or with
- incomplete information.
- Shipping samples in inappropriate containers.
- Storing samples in the wrong environmental conditions (e.g. excessive heat or cold).
- Testing the wrong patient’s sample.
If the Frederick Memorial Hospital Laboratory missed or misdiagnosed your condition, call the diagnostic error attorneys of Whitney, LLP at (410) 583-8000 to set up a free legal consultation. You may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, pain, suffering, lost income, and other expenses.